Julian grew up in Massachusetts, the son of a Russian immigrant who sold produce from a horse carriage. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1941 and served in the 211th Army Air Forces in WWII. He and his wife Virginia had five boys and two girls. Julian worked at his brother Maurice’s menswear store, Julian’s College Shop in Chapel Hill, before opening Milton’s Clothing Cupboard in 1948. He had six locations, in cities like Charlotte, Atlanta and Dallas, at his peak.
Julian was known for his zany marketing stunts. “Milton was a marketing genius,” remembers Lynda Carpenter of IMM ties Luchiano Visconti, a longtime family friend. “Once during a big sale, he got these turtles and painted them with the line ‘2-for-1 at Milton’s Clothing Cupboard’ and set them loose on the campus of the local university. He was an amazing man!”
Carpenter continued, “I loved to visit Milton and his beloved wife Virginia whenever I was in town. We’d sit on the front porch of their log cabin home eating homemade bread that Virginia had just baked. How Milton adored her! And what an extraordinary man he was: he had that twinkle in his eye and connected so well with everyone. He loved his customers, loved his sales reps, and loved to draw people into his circle. He always made the time to stop by my suite in Charlotte to chat about absolutely everything.”
Julian’s son Bruce worked in his father’s store before opening Bruce Julian Clothiers in Charlotte in 1977. Milton Julian continued to work as a haberdasher, visiting his clients through a business he called “Milton’s Without Walls.”
Milton Julian is preceded in death by his son Andrew and wife Virginia. He is survived by sons Philip (and wife Carol), Shannon (and wife Susan), Bruce (and wife Bonnie) and Tim (and wife Carla); daughters Kimi (and husband Robert Slepin) and Jami (and husband Barry Haigler); 10 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, January 20 at 2pm at the Judea Reform Congregation Cemetery at 2560 Jones Ferry Road in Chapel Hill, 27516.
An obituary was published in the Charlotte Observer today.